Our Story

HERC's Mission

HERC aims to improve the connection between education research
and decision making for the purpose of equalizing outcomes
by race, ethnicity, economic status, and other factors
associated with inequitable educational opportunities.


Create and sustain a collaborative infrastructure and culture for jointly developing and implementing a research agenda based upon local needs and interests.


Build capacity for new kinds of researchers, practitioners and policymakers who identify and apply the best available evidence to high-priority problems of practice.


Provide leadership for advancing the use of research evidence in policy and practice at local, state and national levels.


Continuously improve HERC’s performance in conducting high-quality research and supporting evidence-based decision making in order to improve equity.


“The benefits of a research practice-partnership is a relationship that creates mutually beneficial research done with and for the district – for issues that are important to improve outcomes for children. The connection between practitioners and researchers at the table, together, is so valuable. This important work makes an impact on outcomes and informs policy in our schools and communities. Policy can happen, but it’s so much more important to have real data informing policy – instead of opinions or perceptions. Policies informed by practice, data and real research create real outcomes for our kids.”

HERC Impact


Founded in 2011, HERC began as a partnership between Rice University and the Houston Independent School District (HISD) made possible through initial funding from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.
In 2017, with funding from the Kinder Foundation, HERC expanded to other Houston-area school districts across the region, for a total of 11 district partners - representing more than 714,000 students.

Our Partners

Collaborative research

HERC’s work to improve the connection between education research and decision-making is done alongside our 11 partner school districts from across the Greater Houston area.

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Houston City Skyline with students

Investing in critical education research

Investment in HERC’s work moves critical efforts forward in ensuring data and collaborative research are at the forefront of decision-making to improve equitable education outcomes in our communities.

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8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. CT


HERC is a program of the
Kinder Institute for Urban Research.

Mailing Address

Rice University | HERC
6100 Main Street, MS-258
Houston, TX 77005

Subscribe to HERC News,
our quarterly e-newsletter.

Physical address

Kraft Hall - Suite 378
6100 Main Street  
Houston, TX 77005 
Find HERC on a campus map.


Site photo credits (unless otherwise noted): Aldine ISD, Houston ISD and Spring Branch ISD. | Terms of Use